History of the Department
The Department of Educational Psychology, Sociology and Special Education (EPSSE) was established in 1989. It was initially part of the Department of Education, out of which came the Department of Educational Administration and Policy Studies (EAPS), Language and Social Sciences Education (LSSE), Mathematics and Sciences Education (MSE) and In-Service Education and Advisory Services (ISEAS), which has been divided into Department of Primary Education and Advisory Unit for Colleges of Education (AUCE).
In 1995, the Department introduced an interim Special Education programme for Bachelor of Arts with Education (BA Ed) Students, which was later transformed into the Bachelor of Education in Special Education (B Ed; Sp. Ed) in 1996.The introduction of the Bachelor of Special Education meant an increase in both number of courses offered by the Department and also of staff. Currently, the Department has staff establishment of 23 Lecturers.
The Department also houses Special Education Assessment Centre and Demonstration Class. The Assessment Centre was initiated in collaboration with the Niilo Maki Institute and was opened in January, 1996.
The Department has also established a number of links with other learning institutions locally and internationally, notable among them is the UNZA-OULU LINK, for Staff and Students’ Exchange.
In addition, the Department offers Post-Graduate Programmes in conjunction with the Directorate of Research and Graduate Studies (DRGS).
The B. Ed Special Education degree programme was started in the 1996/97 academic year with an intake of 6 first-year pre-service and 20 third year in-service candidates. The programme has since produced just over a hundred and eighty graduates, the majority of whom are employed by the Ministry of Education at various levels.
Over the seven-year period the programme has been on offer, it has maintained its effectiveness in producing graduates with the relevant knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to meet the special educational needs in the education system. Developments world-wide, in the country and in the school, however, have made it imperative to carry out a review of the B. Ed Special education curriculum.
In response to the worldwide trend and Zambia’s Education policy on inclusive schooling as a strategy of meeting educational needs of more children with disabilities, the department has had to cater for the needs of students – teachers preparing to graduate as teachers for such children. The department decided to review the current degree programme so that it responds more meaningfully to the challenges the developments special and inclusive classes bring to the educational system.
In addition, the HIV/AIDS pandemic requires that the Department prepare a teacher who will effectively counsel children infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. The Department therefore, decided to review the current degree programme to include Educational Psychology-based courses. This was with a view to strengthening the Counselling skills and knowledge of students of special education so that they are more able to deal with the impact of the psycho–social challenges of having a disability and the HIV/AIDS pandemic on pupils with special educational needs.